Wednesday, July 3, 2013

English Public Pleasure Gardens - Vauxhall Chronology 1700s

Vauxhall A General Prospect of Vaux Hall Gardens, by Johann Sebastian Muller (John Miller), Bowles & Carver, publisher.

Vauxhall Gardens in the 1700s

1702  16 April: Birth of Jonathan Tyers

1710 Z. C. von Uffenbach visit—'avenues and covered walks . . . and green huts'

1712  20 May: Spectator article

1717 Date on leadwork of the proprietor's house, with initials PHH for Philemon and Hannah Hill.

1722 Jonathan Tyers marries Elizabeth Fermor

1729 Jonathan Tyers the elder becomes Proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens

1729 17 March: Date on Jonathan Tyers's lease from Elizabeth Masters, widow, at £250 p.a. for 30 years. Tyers was already in occupation of the Old Spring Garden

1729 Gardens described by Pierre Jacques Fougeroux

1730 Date on Hogarth's supper-box painting Night

1731/2  12 March: Tyers's first known advertisement for brewers etc.

1732  Wednesday 7 June: The re-launch with a Ridotto al' Fresco

1734 Mr. & Mrs. Tyers buy the Denbies estate, with 80 acres of land, also lease 250 acres nearby

1735 3 June: Orchestra building unveiled

1736 Season runs from Wednesday 19 May to Saturday 21 August
  Ordinary tickets withdrawn, but one shilling entrance charge instituted (until 1792)

1737 Monday 2 May: Season opens   Organ Building installed behind orchestra
  First recorded issue of season tickets at 1 guinea
1738 Season runs from Monday 1 May until Saturday 19 August
   26 April: Roubiliac's statue of Handel 'carried over the water, to be put up in Vaux-Hall Gardens'
1739 1 May: Season opens   Supper-box paintings mostly complete Carillon added to organ

1740 Hayman group portrait of Tyers family   Season tickets cost £1. 5s.

1741/2 Turkish Tent built
1742  5 April: Ranelagh Gardens opens

1743 Engravings after supper-box paintings published
1745 Hayman's Shakespearean scenes  Dr. Arne appointed director of music  Vocal music introduced as a regular part of the evening's program

1746 Prosperous season at Vauxhall following the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden (16 April)
1748 Season open on (or by) 18 May  Season Tickets cost 2 guineas   Rotunda building completed

1749  21 April: Rehearsal of Handel's Fireworks Music
1750 Pillared Saloon
1751 Monday 20 May: Season opens 
1752 Jonathan Tyers purchases half of the estate of Vauxhall Gardens from George Dodington for £3,800   The original Cascade is installed
  The Provisions of 25 Geo II, c.36 come into force, requiring the licensing of all places of public entertainment within 20 miles of the City and Westminster, in effect leaving Vauxhall, Ranelagh and Marylebone Gardens with a virtual monopoly
1753 8 May: Season opens 

1754 "Mr. Tyers has had the ruins of Palmyra painted in the manner of the scenes so as to deceive the eye and appear buildings"

1758 The new Gothic orchestra unveiled   Robert Adam commissioned to build a Temple of Venus at a cost of £5,000   Tyers completes the purchase of the estate from Mr. Atkins and Mrs. Jennings

1761 First of Hayman's paintings for the Pillared Saloon.
1762 Anon, A Description of Vaux-Hall Gardens, published by S. Hooper
  Ostenaco, a Cherokee chief, and a group of Indians, visit Vauxhall with Henry Timberlake
1763 Thursday 19 May: Season opens

1764 Completion of Hayman's four paintings for the Pillared Saloon
  Tyers fences the dark walks; following destruction of the fences (and other extensive vandalism), he introduces lighting instead

1765 Thursday 29 August: Season concludes with a masquerade, attended by up to 5,000 guests
1766 Season of bad weather opens by 19 May. Tyers makes a £3,000 loss over the year

1767  26 June: Death of Jonathan Tyers at Vauxhall After death of Jonathan Tyers the elder, the ownership of Vauxhall Gardens passes to Elizabeth, his widow and management is passed to a family partnership with Jonathan Tyers the younger in charge

1768  13 May: Season opens    17 August: King of Denmark visits Vauxhall
  Vauxhall Gardens on the market at £60,000

1769   Grand refurbishment of the gardens, at a cost of £5,000, including a canopy over the Grand walk (completed the year before) 
1771 Death of Elizabeth Tyers, leaving the gardens to her four children, Thomas, Elizabeth,Margaret and Jonathan the younger. Management stays with Jonathan the younger.

1771 17 May: Season opens

1772 James Hook appointed principal keyboard player and composer

1773  20 May: Season opens     23 July: The 'Vauxhall Affray' 

1777 A wet summer in London

1779  17 May: Season opens Monday 

1781 Season Thursday 17 May–24 August    25 June: Sailing match for the Duke of Cumberland's Cup. Duke and Duchess dine afterwards at the gardens, attracting 11,000 visitors

1783 13 May: Season opens    In an attempt to avoid the usual Last Night riots and damage, the proprietors close without notice in mid-August

1784 Rowlandson's watercolour of Vauxhall exhibited at the Royal Academy

1785 Thomas Tyers, Margaret Rogers and Bryant Barrett cede partnerhip to Jonathan Tyers the younger, Bryant Barrett (his son -in-law) and Elizabeth Wood (Jonathan's sister)

1785  19 May: Season opens    At this time, the Tyers/Rogers/Barrett family own over 45 acres in Vauxhall, including the 11 acres of the Gardens themselves, and up to ninety dwelling-houses, pubs and other buildings

1786 Mon 29 May: Vauxhall Jubilee    Tues 30 May: First military fete   Season opens on 10 June and runs to Tuesday 29 August

1786 Bryant Barrett becomes the sole proprietor and manager of Vauxhall Gardens

1786 First regular advertisements of the music program    Construction of a new entrance in Kennington Lane, sometimes called the 'Coach Gate', with waiting rooms, cloakrooms etc. (first mentioned as an entrance in 1762)

1787 1 February: Thomas Tyers dies unmarried   18 May: Season opens with a Subscription Masquerade    Operating licence granted on condition that the gardens close at midnight on Saturday   Newly-decorated Balloon-rooms opened

1788 Monday 9 June, 5 pm: Sailing cup race, Blackfriars Bridge to Putney and return to Vauxhall Stairs   Sailing transparency shown in the new Promenade Room     'The Vauxhall Jubilee, or Harlequin in the Ball Room' performed at Astley's Amphitheatre

1790 Season Tuesday 18 May–Thursday 26 August

1791 Season Tuesday 17 May–Thursday 25 August   New Supper Room   By 12 August, a new Gothic Temple, decorated with coloured lamps in perpetual motion ('The Moving Temple'), designed by Martinelli

1792 21 March: Death of Jonathan Tyers the younger 

1792 Ownership of Vauxhall Gardens passes to Bryant Barrett, manager and proprietor

1792 Season Thursday 31 May–Monday 27 August   Prince's Gallery (400 ft. long) and Ante-Room built    4 June: Joseph Haydn visits Vauxhall   Admission price raised to two shillings; profit of £5,000 for the season.

1793 Season Thursday 23 May–Thursday 15 August   Proprietors pay £1,000 'Admission fine' to the Duchy of Cornwall to continue lease of the gardens

1794 Decorated Vauxhall Barge on the Thames.   Flockton's 'Drolleries' exhibited

1795 Monday 6 June: Season opens   A Season of bad weather. Tea and coffee discontinued because of high cost

1796 19 May: Gardens opened with a grand Ridotto al Fresco; large temporary saloon for dancing; company in evening dress

1797 Mr. C.H. [Christopher] Simpson Master of Ceremonies (until his death in 1835)

1798 Fireworks first exhibited as a regular feature

For much more, see Vauxhall Gardens, by David E. Coke, Alan Borg, published in 2011 by Yale University Press

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